Self-Portrait Lighting Experiment

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by Redhotpengy, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Redhotpengy

    Redhotpengy TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys! I just wanted some critique on a photo that I took of myself today. It's my first experiment with a lot of lighting.

    Basically my setup was confined to a small room. My goal for this picture was very dramatic portrait, but with a blank background.

    Here was a picture I took from behind the scenes,

    [​IMG]


    This is the only had the lighting equipment I had, since I'm not a professional. I'm more of a natural lighting sort of guy :D
    It's basically a poor man's studio lol.
    Anyways, as you can see I have my Canon 60d on my tripod (I later rotated the head), with two lights attached to it to get as much lighting as I can to my face. I then had the two halogen lights for my key and filler (I later made them higher).

    I took about 30 raw pictures and then decided I had enough pictures. So, I put all of this away, found the picture I liked, and started working in Photoshop. An hour and a half later (and a couple of tweaks later on), I have my finished product (Click the link to see the picture, then click on the picture to see the picture in a higher resolution),

    [​IMG]

    It was a picture very inspired by James Bond.

    The settings for my shot were,

    F/stop = 4.5
    ISO = 100
    Focal length = 35mm

    Please tell me what you think! Thanks :D


     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  2. Frequency

    Frequency Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your posing and mood are fine
    Again what is the dark spot below your nose? need immediate operation ;)

    Regards :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Since you embedded your setup shot, why not embed the actual SP? You'll probably get more responses.
     
  4. Redhotpengy

    Redhotpengy TPF Noob!

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    Done.
     
  5. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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    Nice!

    With the right white balance and additional camera settings, continuous make-shift do-it-yourself lighting works great.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    At first glance, this is a pretty decent image, even though I'm not usually fond of the shoulders being square to the camera. Looking further, there are a few points woth noting.

    IMO, your lights are set too low. This is noticed by the fact your shirt is brighter than your face. Also, the shadows of your collar are extending up on your neck. Setting the lights higher would bring out more detail in your lapels.

    The cropping of your hands are not the best. Either have more at the bottom to give some room for them or choose a tighter crop.

    I would suggest for you to "follow your nose" a bit more so there is a bit of white on both side of you eye. If you have a particular spot that you want the viewer to see where you're looking, turn your head slightly.

    There seems to be a bit of smuding on the background. Was this done in post to remove shadows on the wall? Steeping further away from the background will reduce or completely elinate this altoghether.

    Lastly......... wear a belt.

    Thanks for posting the SP.
     
  7. Redhotpengy

    Redhotpengy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice! I will take this into consideration, the problem is that these lights don't go any brighter, but I will note that in the future if I ever do other shoot and have that equipment available. BTW my hands aren't cropped, they're in my pocket :p Yea the minute I saw the picture the biggest problem were those shadows :\

    Yea, there was a bit of smudging. It's a little harder to notice on the original file since it's a little brighter.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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    Jack with aperture/iso/etc to compensate =)
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry for the confusion. I meant too low as in elevation. They need to be raised vertically.

    I can see that your hands are in your pockets, but by having them at the bottom of the frame, they "feel" amputated. I was suggesting to have another 6" or so at the bottom.
     
  10. Redhotpengy

    Redhotpengy TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to take the picture again tomorrow with the suggestions you provided. I'm going to try to include as many lights as I can! Do you think using flash would be good? Even with a very light exposure?
     
  11. jaicatalano

    jaicatalano TPF Noob!

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    Careful of the hot lights. Use spider lights or if you don't have the money go with less intense bulbs. You look too sweaty.

    I do self portraits a lot and it's a process. My suggestion is do one a day. Don't worry about CC because that is not what you need right now. You need experience training in taking your photo.
     
  12. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you have a flash? I thought the setup shot was what you have on hand to work with. Work it baby, work it. :biggrin:

    I'm a proponent of flash photography. But in the same breath, I am a realist. Work with what you have, but use your imagination for work-arounds.

    I think your first attempt was good. I think you can better yourself with more practice.

    A couple of thoughts that may be of use for your self portraits. 1) Find something to put in place of where your position will be.... a broom leaning on a chair, a torchiere.... anything vertical that you can pre-focus of where your EYES will be in the frame. That's the point to focus on. 2) Once focused.... turn AF off. 3) Use the self-timer or a remote shutter release. 4) use MUP (mirror lock up) or 5) if your camera has the Interval Timer option... use it. 6) have an adult beverage 7) have a laugh, relax, it's supposed to be fun.

    Please share your next attempts.
     

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